Thrombi mania

2008-02-23 00:00

THROMBOSIS Gorge, Underberg, was the venue for the sixth edition of the Thrombi X-Fest — an annual extreme sports festival that attracts daredevils and adrenalin junkies.

A magnificient valley ideally located for this type of event alongside the Umzimkulu River and nestling amid the rolling hills of the lower ’Berg provides the perfect setting for the Thrombi X-Fest.

Paddlers tested their skills in the kayak race, which comprised a series of heats leading up to the final event.

It was guaranteed to produce carnage and excitement, and river specialist Graeme Anderson walked home with the first prize of a new Fluid kayak.

Throughout the day, the downhill cyclists took to the testing course that saw riders flying down an eroded gully before burning up the track in a rapid descent down to Thrombi base camp. Spectators had a great view of the final section of the course.

It was no surprise that Pietermaritzburg’s ace downhill champion, Greg Minnaar, stole the limelight in his first outing in the new Santa Cruz colours.

The second man home on the final run was Travis Browning.

Hayden Brown came third.

Vicky Phillips continued to show great improvement as she clocked the fastest runs among the women.

A fun yet testing short-course multi-sport race was geared for the specialists and comprised a seven-kilometre paddle down the world-class Thrombosis Gorge, ending with a 10-metre descent down Thrombosis Falls.

Then the competitors lugged their kayaks out of the valley before running back to base camp to finish with a 15-km mountain bike ride.

Sean Biggs proved his multisport talents, taking the win by over three minutes from Ross O’Donoghue.

A croc (two-man inflatable canoe) race just for laughs on Saturday afternoon saw many of the supporters joining in the spirit of event.

The winners were Andrew Craig and Rick Stutterheim.

Sunday saw the introduction of the mountain bike classic over a 40-km course and a 20-km intermediate event.

Strong competition among the men saw Brandon Stewart lead home a sprint finish from Peter Smith and Max Knox.

Ester Erdeyli kept things under control in the women’s race with a comfortable win over Jackie Nel and Julia Colvin.

A great concept of the event is the “film-makers and photographers shootout”, which encourages cameramen to test their creative skills in an extreme environment. Jon Ivins won the photographers’ category, while the Bearded Ladies were impressive in their camerawork to take the film-makers’ prize.


Kayak Sprint, Men: G Anderson, S Biggs, R O’Donoghue. Women: M Basso. Downhill, Men: G Minnaar, T Browning, H Brown. Women: V Phillips, M Palframan, T Brown. Multisport, Individual: S Biggs, R O’Donnoghue, G Anderson. Teams: Simon, Hadrus & Guy, Phillip, Neil & Chris, Daniel, Johan & George.

40 km MTB Classic, Men overall: B Stewart 1h32.54, P Smith 1h32.55, M Knox 1h32.57. Women: E Erdeyli 1h50.47, J Nel 1h58.03, J Colvin 2h07.07. 20km MTB, Men: R Stevens 43.57, D Henderson 47.17, M Weitz 47.19. Women: R van der Linde 51.16, M Greenland 1h01.35, L Flint 1h09.55. Sub-Junior Series: R Stevens, M Weitz. Sprogs: D Blom, A Hughes.

KZN triathletes excel at SA champs

KZN brought home a healthy bounty of medals from the SA Triathlon Championships in East London last weekend.

Gold medals went to Pietermaritzburg’s Ken Curr (55-59) and junior Heidi Dalton (12-13).

Jolene Thompson (14-15), Danielle Dalton (16-19), Hennie Schoeman (16-19), Helen Buley (25-29) and Karen Bargate (50-54) took home silver medals, while Loy de Jager claimed bronze in the junior men 18-19 category.

In the Elite division it was Marie Rabie (Western Province) and Tim Don (Great Britain) who took the honours. Rabie showed superb form to break the tape in two hours, nine minutes and 29 seconds — over two minutes clear of Germany’s Ricarda Lisk, with Free State’s Kate Roberts taking third.

SA’s number one-ranked triathlete, Hendrik de Villiers, finished just over a minute back to take second ahead of Great Britian’s Fraser Cartmell.

Boys excel in

NCT’S Adventure


Maritzburg College, Kearsney College and Lydenburg High School walked away with the top spots in this year’s NCT Boys’ inter-school adventure race.

The event, sponsored by NCT Forestry Co-operative and organised by Willows Adventure Sports, was staged last weekend in the Baynesfield/Richmond area. It attracted 21 teams from 14 schools, including teams from Tswane and Mpumalanga.

The race started on Friday morning with 47 boys heading off on mountain bikes to tackle 40 km of arduous tracks and forestry roads cutting through maize fields, with a swim and a paddle in between.

Day two kicked off with a five-kilometre trail and one bike per team. Team members ran alongside their cyclists and teams could alternate running with cycling as they wished. They left the bikes at the transition point and took off into the hills to complete a challenging 25-km hike. Halfway along their fear of heights was tested — one member from each team had to complete an abseil down a rock face.

Kearsney excelled on day two and this added to their overall lead.

The boys faced another 40-km mountain bike trail on Sunday that led them to the finish line and involved high-speed mountain-biking and tricky river crossings.

After three days’ racing and many tasks completed, the shortest elapsed time provided the winners of the three sections of this event:

Section 1 (Senior—- teams of three ) Lydenburg Lions from Lydenburg HS

Section 2 (Senior — teams of two) Team X-H2O from Maritzburg College

Section 3 (Junior—- teams of two) Team Kemp Spec of Kearsney College

The Best-Spirit Award went to Team Sprogs from Maritzburg College.

NCT also sponsored a development team from the Zakhe Agricultural College at Baynesfield and Hattons Cycles sponsored their cycling kit.

Each year a worthy community project is nominated to benefit from proceeds from entries. This year’s event raised over R7 000 for the Bongekile Pre-School in Richmond’s Indaleni township.


Seniors (teams of three): 1. Lydenburg HS; 2. Lydenberg HS; 3. Creston College; 4. Kloof HS 1; 5. Zakhe Agric. College. Seniors (teams of two): 1. Maritzburg College 2. Kloof HS; 3. St Patrick’s; 4. Afrikaans Boys HS; 5. Weston Agric. College; 6. Glenwood HS; 7. Creston College; 8. Weston Agric. College. Juniors (teams of two): 1. Kearsney College; 2. Kloof HS; 3. Maritzburg College; 4. Kloof HS; 5. St Patrick’s; 6. Kearsney College; 7. Kloof HS; 8. Carter HS/Chiselhurst.


The Ryan Maullin Memorial Battery Centre Midmar Notts Cycle Challenge takes place tomorrow from Midmar Dam.

The event offers an 80-km challenge from Midmar out to Mount West and back while the 30-km fun ride will turn 15-km from Midmar on the road past Lidgetton.

This popular classic, the oldest on the KZN cycling calendar, is set to attract a big field. It comes two weeks before the Pick ’n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour.

Late entries will be accepted at registration tomorrow between 5.45 am and 6.45 am.

Riders without a cycling licence will be levied an extra charge of R30 on the entry fee. Pre-entrants collect their race numbers at registration. The event is timed by Champion Chip (“no chip, no time”).

For more information, contact Jill at 083 652 9559 or Rebecca at 082 776 0435.

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